For some reason in my life, I’ve made a habit of presenting myself as a more sociable person than I’d like to be. It isn’t that I’m not physically or mentally capable of being social, I just would prefer to not have to be. This also doesn’t mean that I don’t like people, because I love people. I find us to be a fascinating species with complex thought processes and abilities to
However, I’m just not always that interested in consistent, shallow or intellectual, dialogue. I’ve just never been that type of person. I’ve never been great with keeping up with the latest news on Complex or Twitter, nor have I been a person who finds himself inclined to follow reality T.V. or the News. Therefore, I found myself out of the loop in conversations that some of my old classmates would engage in. For instance, growing up without a cell phone until my sophomore year of high school and not always having cable T.V. or internet directed my interest towards my notebook, music, and drawing pad. Hence why I believe that it contributes to, or is a result of, my artistry as a writer and musician. My most productive and comfortable spaces are those that allow me to think and speak freely with no one else but myself. I find that too much conversation on topics that usually come in social spaces, especially professional or academic spaces ( i.e. politics, race, mainstream entertainment, or what I’m doing now as a post-grad) become draining and almost robotic.
As for creative spaces such as open mics, jam sessions, art galleries; my dilemma is different because these spaces never feel draining to me, rather they tend to rejuvenate my soul. Especially when these events are curated and populated by folks of color. However, “conversation starters” aren’t necessarily my field of expertise and therefore connecting with people who don’t initiate an interaction with me can be difficult. Knowing this of myself, and not wanting to fall flat on my face while trying to relate with someone, I choose to simply take what I can from the vibe of the event. People watching (without getting caught of course), bobbing my head to music, jotting down lyrics or poetry on my phone, and just taking the sights and sounds of the space is typically where I find myself. And I’ve begun to be okay with that.
On most occasions, I ultimately prefer the solitude of my Watertown apartment and the company of my beautiful fiancé, LaQuasia, and our cat, Buddy Valentine. At our home, in community with one another, I feel that we exist in ourselves with not always the need to fill our space with words. Don’t get me wrong; we talk all of the time. She’s my soulmate and I feel as though she may know me better than my damn self, and it’s great to have that in someone. But personally, I think that our ability to coexist in our own worlds while in a shared vicinity further solidifies our compatibility and deepens my love for her. And, in turn, allows for us to create space for more meaningful conversations.
I feel that it’s important to understand this part of myself because I used to feel somewhat embarrassed about the fact that I’m not interested in conversations with just anyone or on just any topic, nor am I enticed by the idea of being in huge social gatherings. I understand that building connections with people can be vital in the professional world, but as an artist, I’d prefer to let my work do most of the talking for me. I have a small circle of dope friends that I commune with, and I’m always open to collaborating with artists and entrepreneurs in means to further ourselves creatively. I’m also a lover of small intimate gatherings of a few minds where the intended purpose is to embrace aged wine, a few rolled leaves, and in-depth dialogue. But ultimately, I’m just not a great casual ‘conversationer,’ and that’s perfectly fine with me.